Life has an obsession towards itself, quite simply because life is all there is. This obsession of life for itself is what manifests into all forms – the underlying force behind all manifestations of life is this energy of “obsession”. If you try to suppress this nature of obsession in you, it ends up creating a huge imbalance in your energy, creating an energetic unattractiveness, or lack of magnetism, which manifests in the form of a “decay” of some sorts – mostly ending up in a “premature” bodily degeneration. The body requires the magnetism of “obsession” in order for it to function harmoniously. Obsession being a strong focus has as much capacity for harm as for constructive creation. That’s the reason why obsession needs to be balanced with consciousness, by balanced I don’t mean “suppressed”, I mean you need to bring the element of aware “understanding” to the force of obsession so that you don’t turn it into something destructive.
Now “obsession” is usually an untouchable word in conventional/conservative spirituality – mostly because most conventional spiritual teachings don’t allow the full cycle of realization and just stick with what feels “convenient”. A spiritual teacher talking in the favor of obsession could come across as being “materialistic” and lose his/her devoted following. The safer option is to give, or stay with, the “half truth” and allow a “half independence” or some sense of peace. Usually this half-truth is along the lines of asking you to suppress your desire/obsession in some way and become devoted to the “divine” or inner peace or “beingness”. Some people are content with this sense of peace, whereas others acknowledge that they still feel something does not fit in fully. At some point, if you are honest with yourself, you will always see through the “half truths” and there is a deep desire for the complete version. A direct understanding is to realize that “inner wholeness” is just the foundation (and not the end point) required for a free expression of life through you.
What is obsession?
Life-energy is an “attractive” force (that’s why it’s also called a force of love in many teachings) and its creations are based on this nature. Everything in physicality is sustained through this principle of attraction. The electrons are attracted to protons to form an atom, and this micro structure is what you see at a macro level in everything concerning life – look at the solar system and you will see how it’s similar to an atom, sun attracting the planets, moon attracted to earth etc, everything is “magnetized” or working on the principle of attraction. Obsession is just another name for attraction, nothing else. Since you are made of this same energy, you have this inherent nature of obsession in your heart and brain (essentially in every cell) – it’s the most natural aspect of you as a part of life-energy.
Your obsessions are part of your natural expression, and is inherently a part of your design – different people have different aspects of obsession. Some of us have one central obsession in life, and some secondary obsessions, whereas some may have a few central obsessions and a few secondary obsessions. Everyone, but just everyone, has at least one obsession – it’s impossible for a life-energy (or consciousness) to “exist” without an obsession, be it in non-physical form or physical form. At different points in your life, your obsessions could change – right now you might have an obsession for spiritual enlightenment, or understanding life, or understanding yourself, or for finding inner wholeness, but once this obsession finds completion you will naturally progress to a new obsession (the most you can do is try to suppress this natural movement).
What about “negative” obsessions? Well, first of all, “negative” is not an absolute standard but a mind perspective, and if we speak from this relative perspective then it’s true that a “negative obsession” that causes undue exploitation or harm is a sign of a lower awareness or consciousness. However, it’s all part of growth and we’ve all at some point been at lower awareness states (through our lifetimes or journey) and hence one has to have this absolute perspective in mind that different streams of consciousness are on different journeys and growth paths, and a certain pattern of “negative obsession” is a necessary part of their own growth and understanding until they are able to consciously evolve beyond it. It’s important to get over the mindset of trying to “unify” everyone, or create an “utopia” (paradise), and just realize that Earth is a ground for various streams of consciousness having their own growth journeys, and they need certain experiences (even if they come across a negative) for the growth/understanding they are aspiring for and if part of your expression is to curb their negativity then so be it – but it’s important to have this absolute perspective else you will just have a mindset of hatred/fear towards a part of life-energy.
Stay true to your obsession
I don’t write with an obsession for creating an utopian world or social reform, I just write because I enjoy this expression and interaction, this is not my particular obsession in any way. However, there are some people who do have an obsession for improving the society, and their actions may be deeply focused on this obsession – they mostly become leaders in the area of social reform. I don’t feel guilty about not having an obsession for social reform, I understand that it’s not part of my primary obsession, at-least not at this point in my life. Just to be more clear with this example, I would say that my primary obsession is with “intimate relationship” and a secondary obsession with understanding life (which was instigated largely by “events” created by my primary obsession). So, you can see how an obsession becomes the driving force behind certain growth; my growth in awareness of life is largely driven by the primary obsession. This obsession, when I was in an unconscious state of being, caused a lot of disturbance, which eventually lead me to be come to awareness, and now, from a place of inner stability this obsession feels like an enjoyable/adventurous force rather than a disturbance.
I would define “unconscious obsession” as being driven by an obsession while being in a state of a lack of inner stability/wholeness. Obsession being a strong force, in the lack of inner-stability, can create a lot of disturbance, or wreck havoc in one’s life. Be it obsession with your work or with sex or sports, when you lack inner stability anything can become spurious. A “conscious obsession” is when you have an inner stability and are living an obsession in all awareness. The inner stability not only allows you to be “resistance-free” towards allowing a meaningful expression of your obsession, it also becomes the ground which lets you work with wisdom and understanding, thus enhancing your expression.
Some behaviors common in people with “unconscious obsession” are
– The tendency to inflict “self hurt” when the object of their obsession is beyond reach
– A tendency to struggle, through strained/counter-productive/unwise/unnecessary actions, in an attempt to seek fulfillment of their obsession
– Using a “negative” force in the form of undue exploitation, manipulation, abuse or other fear-based/lack-based mechanisms to vie for the object of obsession
– Suppressing their natural obsession
– Doubting the fulfillment of their obsession, and thus living in depression
– Feeling guilty about their obsession (for ex, considering it as “less spiritual”), leading to self-criticism/self-loathing
The above are just some common tendencies is people who are unconscious towards their obsession. These tendencies inherently end up creating “resistance” of some form, which leads to a build up of negativity, thus manifesting as some form of imbalance.
The behaviors common to people with “conscious obsession” are
– An enjoyment, and appreciation, of the presence of this obsession in them, as a driving factor of growth in their life
– Allowing the expression of this obsession without moving through “struggle” based, or exploitative, means
– Not feeling guilty, or inferior, about their obsession even in the midst of de-motivating influence from the outside
– Allowing their life-stream’s intelligence to orchestrate the necessary events for the expression/experience/fulfillment of their obsession understanding that universe is supportive of their choice, knowing it to be an expression of life-energy through their physicality.
The bottom-line is that obsession loses its “negativity” and becomes a creative force when it’s aligned with in a conscious manner, with an understanding and stability. Always remember that there is nothing “lower” or “higher”, it’s just where you are at this moment on your journey – so stop comparing yourself with others, no-one is “higher” than you in any sense. It’s impossible to grow through the means of negative judgment or suppression – growth only happens through conscious allowing. “Growth” in itself is just a relative term, and not meant to label the place where you are at as “lower” (as a negative) in any way.
Stay true to your obsession, it’s the driving force of your life, it’s what will create a movement in your existence, and it’s what will create your growth. If you feel stuck in life, there is a good possibility that you are not allowing yourself to stay true to your obsession, through some form of limited thinking, or because you don’t feel stable enough to allow it. If you don’t feel stable enough to live your obsession, it’s important to first come to a place of inner wholeness by connecting with your space of being. Inner wholeness is just a “stable ground” through which you can allow a free expression of your obsession, and it’s a necessary pre-requisite for a harmonious/congruent expression.
Suppression of natural obsession creates a negative obsession
In many cases, the reason for a “negative obsession” (which is self-hurting or abusive to the outside) is because of the suppression of a natural obsession which would have created a positive expression. If you suppress a natural obsession some form of imbalance is bound to develop, and developing a negative obsession is just one of it. For example, a self-destructive obsession with drugs (or mood altering chemicals) is mostly out of a need to hide from the feelings of depression, or discontent, created by not being true to one’s natural obsession. An obsession with mindless sex could be the result of trying to hide from the pain of not being able to manifest the obsession for an emotional connection in a relationship – it’s possible that you failed once in a relationship, and got scared of allowing another connection (though you are naturally obsessed with the desire for a meaningful relationship) through the fear of hurt/pain, and this suppression lead to a negative obsession. It’s okay to have mindless sex as your obsession as long as it feels like your natural obsession and not a “distraction” from facing your inner space.
Don’t be put off by “perceived” failures, which are bound to happen in your journey, and just continue staying true to your primary and secondary obsessions. There is actually no such thing called “failure”, it’s just part of the path, a rug in the ladder, it’s not meant to be a deterring force rather it’s meant to be an “aiding” force that brings more maturity, understanding, growth and perspective that allows you to live your expression in a better, and more congruent, manner. There is a saying – “You can’t fail if you don’t give up”, it’s one of the most accurate pointers towards how to stay true to your obsession, it doesn’t mean you have to “struggle and strain”, it just means stay true to it in your heart, don’t suppress it, don’t close down on it – putting a lid on your obsession is a sure-fire way to end your motivation for living, and that’s when you start asking “what’s the meaning of life” (a person who is true to his/her obsession would never ask this question).
Awareness, and understanding of life, only aids in removing resistance to your natural obsession – it does not “kill” it. If a teaching is promoting you to suppress your natural desire/obsession, it’s way off target. Even a spiritual teacher, who claims to be free of worldly obsession, is obsessed with his/her teachings or with their “inner wholeness” or some mystical state, they just don’t question it because they think they’ve “reached” the pinnacle as per spiritual literature. Use your own faculties to introspect, contemplate, and try to feel your own inner resonance before following some “spiritual philosophy”, it could well be selling you a half-truth, and a sure indication of that is a sense of “this is not it” within you – trust your instinct and inner-guidance, don’t see yourself as being lesser, or servile, to any teacher or teaching.
Obsession is the natural force of discipline
If something is part of your natural obsession, you don’t need a “forced discipline” to maintain the focus or inspiration – it just feels like an inspiration, a supported movement, an effortless creation. It’s only when we move against our natural obsession that we need to use forced discipline to get our mind to focus on what it has absolutely no interest in focusing. In fact, I am sure, the very concept of “forced discipline” came in when some disconnected person saw a connected person be dedicated day and night to his obsession – this disconnected person started imitating the inspired actions of the connected person and since they were not natural to his being it required forced discipline. Have you seen kids wake up at 5 am in the morning, on their own, to hit their soccer practice? whereas you would have to take a kitchen sink to the same kid to get him up for his maths tuitions. (of course, there are just as many kids who do the opposite, they obsesses about maths and detest sports). Having lived a struggle-based life of forced discipline ourselves, we try to inject the same poison into our kids, getting them to disconnect with their natural proclivities – what we end up creating is just a depressed society.
Just understand that your life-force is fully supportive of your obsession, and the only resistance that’s ever created is from you (even if it’s under the influence of external conditioning). Depression is just a symptom of a person who has lost touch with his/her obsession. A lot of people feel extremely depressed under the influence of “spirituality” mostly because they get stuck with some incomplete/mis-guided teachings especially the ones that cause them to try and suppress their natural obsession. Another reason for depression is when the object of your obsession is removed from your reality due to “loss” and instead of allowing the force of obsession to attract a new/better reality you start trying to disconnect from the obsession due to the pain of memories – of course it takes some awareness, and understanding of this aspect of life, to be able to come back to aligning with a “conscious obsession” after a perceived, or actual, loss of its past manifestation. In reality “loss” is just an avenue for new growth, improvement, and new reality.
So it’s not about suppressing your natural obsession but about coming to a place of “conscious obsession” – that’s the balance required to channel the force of your obsession in a congruent manner.